|Draft magazine illustration|
That is among a bevy of statistics just released by The Brewers Association (BA), a non-profit craft brewing trade organization. Luckily for me, the folks at Draft magazine waded through the numbers to extract some of the more interesting ones, so I didn't have to.
To put these stats in perspective, it might be helpful to know the BA definition of craft brewing. It is, "Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3% of U.S. annual sales); less than 25% percent of the brewery is owned or controlled by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer; a brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.: It does not consider flavored malt beverages beers.
Here are some of their highlights:
• There are 5,005 breweries in the U.S. as of November 30, an average of about 100 per state and roughly half the number of wineries nationwide.
• Craft beer production volume grew 8% percent through June 30.
• While dollar sales growth also continued for craft beer, it had at midyear slowed to its lowest rate since a 2014.
• IPAs represent a quarter of craft beer volume. The BA points out that what they refer to as “more sessionable styles” like golden ales, pilsners and pale lagers are up 33%, but they still total just under 5% of craft volume.
• American beer abroad takes in $116 million for craft breweries. Craft beer export volume increased by 16.3% this year, totaling 446,151 barrels. More than 100 BA-defined craft breweries sell their beer abroad.
• Homebrewing generated more than $1 billion in spending, created more than 11,000 jobs and now totals about 1.2 million participants nationwide.
• 47% of people say they’ve visited a brewery while traveling this year, according to a Nielsen panel.